Could Donald Trump's Gab Post Hint at Return to Social Media?

Former President Donald Trump posted to social media on Friday for the first time in weeks to address his upcoming second impeachment trial in the Senate. The trial starts on February 8.

Trump shared a letter from his attorneys to Democratic Congressman Jamie Raskin on his Gab account. Gab is a social media platform popular with some conservatives and supporters of the former president.

Raskin, who represents Maryland's 8th congressional district, is the lead impeachment manager and will be responsible for laying out the case for Trump's conviction. Raskin recently called on the former president to testify in person.

This is the first time Trump has posted to any social media site since January 8. He remains suspended from Twitter and Facebook along with a large number of other sites.

"We are in receipt of your latest public relations stunt. Your letter only confirms what is known to everyone: you cannot prove your allegations against the 45th President of the United States, who is now a private citizen," the letter said.

"The use of our Constitution to bring a purported impeachment proceeding is much too serious to try to play these games," the attorneys wrote.

The post consisted only of a picture of the letter and no comment was added. The last time Trump posted on Gab, on January 8, was to confirm he wouldn't attend President Joe Biden's inauguration.

The post has racked up more than 62,000 likes since Friday and Trump's account has 1.4 million followers. This is far fewer than the 88 million Twitter followers he could boast before his ban.

However, Gab is now the only social media platform Trump has access to. Despite being encouraged to join Parler - another site popular with his supporters - Trump declined to do so. Parler remains inaccessible following restrictions imposed on it by Amazon, Google and Apple.

On Twitter, where Trump's posts were frequent and often went viral, users expressed both concern and interest that the former president had posted to Gab. Some pointed to the site's association with the far-right and apparent Trump supporters welcomed the development.

If Trump decides to resume his once very active social media presence, Gab could be the only outlet available to him. Gab recently returned to Twitter and has been using its account to criticize tech companies and encourage people to join its platform.

Gab CEO Andrew Torba has said the site had 275 million page views in the last 30 days and 2.3 million new members, according to NBC News tech and business reporter Scott Budman.

It's not yet clear if Trump will make a permanent return to social media or if his presence would boost interest in Gab. Recent reports claimed Parler offered Trump a 40 percent stake in the company if he made the site his exclusive social network.

Former President Trump Works on His Phone
Former President Donald Trump works on his phone during a roundtable at the State Dining Room of the White House June 18, 2020, in Washington, D.C. Trump posted to Gab on Friday. Alex Wong/Getty Images